Category Archives: Uncategorized

Quiet joy

Joy doesn’t have to exuberant. Joy can be found in the quiet moments, when your heart just fills up and in those moments, everything seems perfect.

Some quiet moments of joy today:

  • Waking up today, sunlight just starting to glow in the backyard, washing dishes in the quiet before Husband got up, sipping on coffee, just enjoying the stillness
  • Sitting at the kitchen table after hot yoga, feeling mentally clear and energized from class, drinking a second cup of coffee (something I only do on weekends), enjoying my oatmeal, and reading.
  • Eating lunch outside with Husband today, feeling the warm spring air, enjoying the breeze on my skin and the vibrancy of my salad, loving living in the south, and happy to be sitting outside with Husband, talking about the future.
  • Husband and I sitting outside this evening on our patio, listening to country rock, the puppy happy to be outside, grinning big and bringing us balls and toys to throw, me dancing around in a whirling dervish as the twilight settled in, feeling so much love for Husband and so happy to just be sitting with him
  • And one from last night, drinking fruity drinks of happiness at Bahama Breeze, me dancing around our table to the steel drum music, in the open air patio, with perfect cool evening breezes

I hope you’ve found some quiet moments of joy in your life recently!

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Trauma is a sneaky thing

The car accident happened a month ago tomorrow.

I am well recovered physically from it. I haven’t had any pain on a daily basis for maybe a week and a half now, maybe nearing two weeks. I was cleared from my physical therapist, he said to keep doing chest/back strengthening exercises but I didn’t need to come back to PT. I’ve been running again, and doing regular yoga again – including intensive back-to-back sessions and feeling good and strong. That all makes me feel mentally/emotionally awesome. My energy has been back to normal, which has also been great.

I still feel a heightened sense of anxiety while driving – I ALWAYS feel a little on edge when I see someone approach an intersection too quickly, or look like they are pulling out from a street, business, or driveway too quickly or extending too far out in the road. I am very cautious at stop lights, making sure drivers on the intersecting road are actually stopped at their red light before I proceed on my green light. But it hasn’t been unmanageable or debilitating, and I figure a little extra caution is never a bad thing.

Yesterday, I went to the repair shop to pick up the car…and it was much more emotional than I was expecting. Even though the car looks brand new again, and not like how I last saw it, it was an emotional sucker punch. When I sat behind the wheel for the first time, I felt like I could see the other driver driving straight at me again. Wasn’t expecting that reaction!

However, I felt fine when I left work yesterday. No lingering emotional trauma. Coming home from yoga last night was more stress inducing. It was dark and I was traveling on poorly lit back roads – and all three things were true for the night of the accident. But it wasn’t awful.

(Important history note: We were having major transmission problems the month before the accident. We were in a rental car for at least half of February as the dealership tried to replicate the problems we were having. The dealership was never able to find the problem, and thus never fixed the problem. They replaced the throttle something, hoping it would fix the problem, but since they couldn’t replicate the problem, they weren’t sure it was fixed).

Enter this morning. I was driving into work, and I have the same transmission problem again. But this time, instead of the car shifting into neutral, and having to pull over to the side and restart the car, the car VIOLENTLY bucked and jerked in the middle of the intersection before finally getting into gear and proceeding to drive the rest of the way into work without incident. But because the car jerked so quickly, the seat belt contracted and I was jerked against it – in the same manner that I was in the accident.

By the time I get to work, my chest and back were hurting again (not as bad as after the accident though), and I feel like a total emotional basket case – angry, scared of being in the car, very shaken up.

The chest/back pain is gone again, and I feel calmer now. But all this indicated to me that 1) I am not quite as physically or emotionally healed as I thought (because I doubt I would have had any pain today if I wasn’t just a month out from the accident), and 2) I really, really need to get a new car!!

33 truths

Happy Friday! The sun is shining, the sky is the kind of endless blue you can get lost in, all the possibilities of the weekend stretched out before me, seems like a good time to play “Get to know the Mermaid better.” And I picked 33 truths because that is how old I am. I’d love to know some truths about you.

In no particular order of importance:

  1. I love ketchup. I often plan “ketchup dinners”, which is where the main ingredient is picked for its ketchup-ability, usually homemade french fries. When I was growing up, and my mom made dinners with meat (which I’ve never liked – red meat, ham, chicken, never been crazy about any of it), I would smother it with ketchup, the only way I could manage to eat it. In fact, I think tonight might be a ketchup dinner night – Five Guys french fries, I think.
  2. I have completed a bike century – just over 100 miles in one fell swoop. It was really hard, and I wasn’t really properly trained for it, and I am very proud of the fact that I managed to complete it.
  3. I’ve met Steven Tyler of Aerosmith a few times, he lives in my hometown. He’s very nice, and very down-to-earth, but he did hit me with a door once. He felt badly about it, though.
  4. I’ve walked into a news studio. Like head on CRASH into the glass wall of the studio. While they were on the air. I could see them trying not to laugh.
  5. I’m an only child (which I love), but I have LOTS and LOTS of identical twins. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stopped by strangers who mistake me for someone else. But not just mistake me for someone else – they start having conversations with me about things we’ve done. They don’t always believe me when I say I am not in fact the person they think I am.
  6. I talk to myself ALL THE TIME. I’m not always aware that I’m doing it.
  7. I also talk to inanimate objects, and everything is given a personality and likes/dislikes.
  8. I married my first boyfriend, after about 10 years of not seeing each other at all. He is perfect for me in just about every way 🙂
  9. I love to read, but I don’t often read sequentially. I hate suspense and not knowing what is going to happen, so I almost always get to a point where I NEED to know what happens. So I skip ahead and read the last page or two. But then I need to know what happened to get there, so I’ll go back a few pages or a chapter and read forward again. Then I’ll go back to where I was originally, but then I’ll jump back earlier in the story to reread bits I liked. I read fairly quickly but it can take me a while to get all the way through the back cover to cover because of how I read.
  10. My dislike of suspense/needing to know how things turn out plays out in other areas as well. The first time I see a movie, even if Husband is also seeing the movie for the first time, I will ask him what is happening, or what they are doing, even though he doesn’t know yet either. And yet, he remains married to me. 🙂
  11. I often have several books going on at once – one in the downstairs bathroom, one in the living room, one in the bedroom, one in the upstairs bathroom. It’s only when I’m really engrossed in a book that I will read it without reading anything else, and then I pretty much won’t put it down – I’ll read while cooking, while getting dressed, while brushing my teeth.
  12. My name means Graceful Warrior.
  13. I HATE HATE HATE onions, but I love garlic.
  14. Being a redhead is as much a part of my identity as my name – I can’t imagine NOT being a redhead. I often say I want to form a RedHead Civil Liberties Union, and to end the blasphemous campaign about how Blondes Have More Fun. I’m only mostly joking.
  15. I love double numbers.
  16. The only phrase I know in Dutch means, Caution: Speedbumps. I hope to one day have to use that phrase.
  17. When I was traveling in Ireland, I often had people ask me for directions, I guess because I look like a local? Oddly, I didn’t see as many redheads there as I expected.
  18. I don’t stand still well. I jump around, I dance, I do part of tree pose from yoga, I stand on my tiptoes, or start walking around on my heels.
  19. I am a horrible singer. I am completely, and utterly tone deaf. But I sing all the time, especially to my dog, Myra WonderPup. But I also sing to the inanimate objects that I am always talking to.
  20. If I start counting out loud, I usually do one of two things: I count like The Count from Sesame Street (1 egg, ah, ah, ah!) or I count up to 12 like in the Sesame Street song, the one that ends twel-el-el-elve
  21. I haven’t eaten red meat or ham since 1995.
  22. I started scuba diving when I was 14. I don’t do it much and I miss it.
  23. If it is windy out, I will put out my arms and fly. I saw someone else doing this one time, I was waiting on the sidewalk and saw him flying. When he walked past me, I commented how it was a great day for flying. He looked confused for a moment, and I explained how I saw him with his arms out in the wind, and he just grinned.
  24. I believe in fairies and mermaids. Yes, really. I wave to mermaids and say hi whenever I go by any big body of water. I talk to fairies when I am out on trail runs. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t real. There is a reason they show up in mythology from all over the world. But aliens freak me out, even though I admit is is likely that they exist.
  25. I still have my bear that I slept with when I was a baby. His name is Ted. He is just as much alive as I am, and I have conversations with him. He traveled with me to France, when I lived there for a year, although I didn’t take him when I backpacked through Ireland, because he would have been squished for two months. I will sleep hugging him when Husband is out of town.
  26. I have been known to sleepwalk. One time, I almost walked out of my parents’ house, and another time, I locked myself out of my freshmen dorm in college and had to get security to let me back into my room.
  27. I have never been drunk, I have a really low tolerance for alcohol, and as soon as I start to feel even the slightest bit of a buzz (less than half a glass), I am so afraid of losing control that I pretty much stop drinking entirely. And yet I will happily do most of the silly things that people usually need alcohol for, but I’m sober.
  28. I am a big sap. I cry at commercials, and love songs, and sad songs, and books, and movies
  29. I believe Fourth of July celebrations are really just a way to announce to the world that my birthday is coming up four days later.
  30. I am so ninja, you can’t even see me. I often enter a room by sneaking around corners with my finger gun, while humming the Mission Impossible music.
  31. I can quote the ENTIRE Princess Bride movie. And do. I am probably not a good person to watch it with because of that reason.
  32. One of my biggest, and best, jobs in life is to be a cheerleader. I ALWAYS look for ways to encourage people, to cheer them on, to let them know I believe in them.
  33. I believe things are always getting better, and I am loving my life more and more all the time.

Congrats on making it through this list of my weirdness and randomness!

Cleaning challenge: Met

A few truths about me:

  1. I am very easily distracted, especially if I don’t like a task.
  2. I’m very competitive. I’m especially competitive against clocks or timers, and competitive against my self. If I set myself a challenge, I have to meet it.
  3. I HATE cleaning. I would much rather do just about anything than clean. I love when my house is clean, I just don’t enjoy getting it clean. Wait, that’s not exactly true. It’s just like I feel cleaning is going to take me forever, so I don’t want to do it. And since I don’t like it, it is very easy for me to get distracted – see point 1. I start cleaning, and I’ll go to put away a book, and just HAVE to read a page – which turns into a chapter or two. Or I turn on the TV just for a minute, which turns into a half hour. But the thing is – I don’t enjoy the reading or TV watching because I know I should be cleaning, so I just feel guilty.

Enter timed cleaning challenges. I have found that the BEST way for me to clean is to give myself a challenge – pick a time, and then assign myself the task of getting everything done in that amount of time, ideally before the timer goes off. I told you, I’m competitive. Since I have to beat my own challenge, it prevents me from getting distracted. I do the cleaning, quickly but thoroughly, and I can’t take breaks to delay the tasks.

For tonight, I set the timer to 45 minutes, and did all the dishes, cleaned the downstairs bathroom,  vacuumed the whole downstairs, cleaned the glass coffee tables and  wiped down the kitchen counters. Challenge: Met.

I then grabbed the three loads of laundry downstairs, and  headed upstairs to put away laundry (side note: as much as I hate cleaning, I hate putting away laundry even more. We tend to get large piles of clean laundry hanging around before we put it away). Next cleaning challenge: set the timer to 45 minutes, and I had to put away all laundry – either hanging up in the closet or folded and put away in drawers. A lot of the clothes were just in a big pile, so there was a fair amount of folding I had to do. Challenge: Met.

So, now I only have to clean the upstairs bathroom and vacuum upstairs this weekend, which means a lot more weekend time to enjoy doing what I WANT to do, not what I have to do. Yay!

The price of beauty

Husband watches Good Morning America in the mornings, before going upstairs to his office for the day. I never watched it before living with him, but if it’s on and I’m around in the morning, I’ll watch some clips with him.

This morning, there was a clip on about a Brazilian Blowout (I think I have vaguely known of the term before, but wasn’t really sure what it was. I think maybe I thought it had to do with waxing? Nope, hair straightening, evidently). There’s been concern about the chemicals involved. They showed clips of a salon where the hairdresser and the client wear gas masks. The treatments are done in separate rooms with special air ventilation. There have been complaints of a burning sensation, eyes burning, problems with breathing. There’s been some tests done as well, and Good Morning America indicated that test results have shown formaldehyde is found in the ingredients.

This all made me sad, and more than a little puzzled.

I am the first to admit that I am extremely LOW maintenance. I don’t do anything with my hair that takes longer than three minutes, from the time I start towel drying to the time I am done. I couldn’t style it if you paid me. It’s either down and natural, back in a headband, back in a clip, or if I’m exercising, in a ponytail. When my hair gets too long to be evenly curly and the length/weight pull the curls out, and I wear it all the time in a ponytail, then I usually cut it all off to super pixie short, and maybe run some gel through it.

I have naturally red, curly hair. If I don’t do anything other than lightly dry it when I get out of the shower, it starts to curl within minutes. If I scrunch it with my fingers a bit, it will curl more. (For the record, this has always frustrated my mother who has very straight hair and has to spend a lot of time on her hair to get it to do what she wants).

I’ve always loved my hair (even when random strangers use to start singing Annie songs at me, or people would come up to me and start pulling on my curls). Not in a vain way, but in the sense that I LOVE being a redhead because it isn’t as common. It stands out. And I love that my hair makes me different. The curls are a nice bonus, because they can be fun. I’ve never had any desire to have straight hair, but I’ve never had any desire to spend time on my hair ever. If it looks good, cool, if it doesn’t, like on days when it is a giant fluffy monster attempting to take over the world…oh well.

I don’t see anything wrong with cutting/coloring/straightening/curling hair – hair is as much a way of expressing yourself as your clothes or your accessories or your tattoos. This isn’t about that.

But if you are putting things on your head that require special ventilation to apply, if you need to wear a gas mask because of the fumes, don’t you think that maybe all those chemicals that are now sitting on your scalp are bad for you? That maybe it’s too high a price to pay for beauty?

All this to have straight hair. Because….having your natural hair is so bad you would rather expose yourself to dangerous chemicals? Because curls and frizz aren’t deemed “pretty” by fashion magazines?

People are willing to pay very high prices to be more beautiful…but when is it too high? Can’t you see that you are beautiful as you are, no matter what magazines and tv and movies say? That how your hair is naturally can be beautiful, especially if you think it is?

Body image and self image are big issues. Really big. I get that. I struggle with it a lot in lots of ways. But that clip just made me so sad…that people would rather risk really toxic chemicals just to have straight, glossy hair, because the way they are isn’t “good enough.”